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Outgoing Information Commissioner reflects on ‘big beast of a job’

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Outgoing Data Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has stated she is proud her management compelled tech giants to take kids’s knowledge extra significantly on a world scale.



The Canadian leaves the “giant beast of a role” in the United Kingdom this week after greater than 5 years, handing the reins over to New Zealander John Edwards.

Banning of location monitoring and profiling of kids are amongst 15 requirements that got here into drive in September, which ended in the likes of YouTube, TikTok and Instagram making sweeping adjustments no longer just for customers in the United Kingdom however internationally.



The youngsters’ code, with its base degree of coverage by means of default, we will be able to already see that is making a transformation

Tech companies that fail to apply the Age Suitable Design Code face massive fines.

Reflecting on her time as Data Commissioner, Ms Denham informed the PA information company: “I feel it’s the paintings that I’m maximum pleased with as a result of we will be able to already see that the children’ code, with its base degree of coverage by means of default, we will be able to already see that’s making a transformation.

“I’m happy to look the reaction however we’re now doing a sweep of the highest 50 carrier suppliers for children to look how they’re complying with the code, so we’ve rolled up our sleeves and we’re doing that sweep presently.”

Since becoming a member of, Ms Denham has noticed group of workers numbers on the Data Commissioner’s Administrative center (ICO) build up from round 400 in 2016 to greater than 800.

As the general public turn into extra aware in their non-public knowledge and the way it’s used, the departing privateness tsar expects extra trade at the horizon.

“We’ve introduced in additional experience, economists, AI experts, technical group of workers, so I feel that’s certain,” she informed PA.

“Given the function that knowledge performs in our society I feel we’re simplest going wish to keep growing in a minimum of our capability to deal with those problems.”

John Edwards is the United Kingdom’s new Data Commissioner (PA)

Ms Denham stated she has identified Mr Edwards for greater than a decade and described him as an “global chief”.

“I’m completely thrilled that he has been the a hit candidate for Data Commissioner as a result of I feel he brings pragmatism, and deep content material enjoy, I do know he’s revered around the globe,” she stated.

“Despite the fact that he’s coming from any other nation, simply as I did from Canada, it’s a Commonwealth nation with an identical prison framework and parliamentary framework, so I feel that’s actually useful.”

When he used to be grilled by means of MPs in September, Mr Edwards defended Ms Denham’s choice to raid two properties when it comes to leaked CCTV pictures that ended in Matt Hancock quitting as well being secretary.

He used to be additionally requested about his ideas on Fb, after calling the tech massive “morally bankrupt, pathological liars” within the wake of the Christchurch assaults in 2019.

“That tweet got here from an overly profound context of nationwide surprise and grief at an overly egregious terrorist act that used to be facilitated, amplified and propagated via that specific platform,” he stated.

“Fb and each and every different organisation which is topic to the ICO’s jurisdiction can be expecting an even and independent inquiry after I occupy that function, with out predetermination.”

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